As reported yesterday in the Toronto Star, it would be the biggest transaction in Canadian sport history. Rogers is in talks to buy the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal worth more than $1 billion. The sale would include the Raptors, Toronto FC soccer club, Leafs and Raptors TV stations and the Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ minor league hockey team, but not the company’s real estate holdings.
Buying a majority stake in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan would transform Rogers, which already owns the Toronto Blue Jays and SportsNet TV, into one of the most powerful sports enterprises in North America.
Rogers, which already has epublishing, cable, radio and wireless interests and owns the Blue Jays baseball club and Rogers Centre, could merge Leafs and Raptors TV, add the Toronto FC games and effectively start the most powerful regional sports network in the country. It would be among the biggest in North America. “It’s a home run,” said one source. “Content is king. The only way you can draw new subscribers is through compelling, unique and exclusive programming.”
“With the landscape as it is, they really need those properties to fulfill their programming need. It’s online content, apps, mobile broadband and TV. Taking over the most valuable property in the NHL and one of the top sports properties in North America is an investment in your core business.”